Organised crime and it’s impact on Kerala

via Dr. Babu Suseelan published on January 21, 2007

Organized criminal groups in Kerala are thriving under economic liberalization, technology advances, political appeasement of criminals, police corruption, judicial inaction, and general public apathy. Organized criminal group’s undue influence of political parties and the police enable organized criminal gangs to grow and prosper in Kerala. Today, organized crime is a transnational phenomenon-and a cause for concern.

Organized terrorist groups, criminal gangs, smugglers, gun runners, sandalwood mafia, illegal liquor traders and money lenders profit from general public apathy, media indifference, and political support. Jihadi terrorists groups, blade mafia, crime syndicates and networks abetted by official corruption, employ blackmail and intimidation as well as use the current socio-political conditions to their full advantage.

What are the most serious problems associated with organized crime in Kerala? The Marxist government, police, the leftist media, organized religious leaders and the general public have differing opinions about organized crime, terrorism, violence and corruption in Kerala. Experts on crime and violence view several offenses, including arms smuggling, murder for hire, drug trafficking, money laundering, coercive debt collection, forest land grab, temple theft, sandalwood smuggling, counterfeit currency distribution, human trafficking, and jihadi terrorism as serious problems that affect economic and social life in Kerala. Several families and communities have suffered from organized crime activities-such as extortion, loan sharking, prostitution, coercive debt collection, murder for hire, violence, illegal liquor trade, forest land grab, arms smuggling and counterfeit currency distribution.

Organized crime networks in Kerala are highly specialized, with many overlapping of criminal activities. There is clear and convincing evidence that organized criminal gang is linked with transnational organized groups and terrorists groups in Pakistan, Middle East and Bangladesh. Organized criminal groups and Jihadi terrorists have penetrated political parties, media, banks, police, customs, and the judiciary. The government authorities are less alarmed by increased criminal activities of organized Jihadis, mafia gangs, and fraudulent conversion groups. Police is reluctant to crack down since they are either directly involved in illegal activities of these gangs, or benefit from it.

Crime groups and Jihadi terrorists in Kerala are becoming better armed and more violent. They collaborate with Pakistan intelligence agents and Middle East terrorist groups. Arms, explosives, bombs, counterfeit currency and illegal drugs are smuggled in to Kerala from Pakistan, Dubai and Bangladesh with active connivance of the Custom and police officials. Violent acts of murder, kidnapping and intimidation are committed against rival gang members, ordinary citizens and Hindu social leaders.

Several criminal organizations like NDF, with underworld nature have penetrated into legitimate business sector, got involved in the media, banking, and politics. Evidence suggests that many crime groups have already monopolized certain wholesale businesses and they are protected by the political parties and the police.

Given the pace of economic development in Kerala, and the interest of domestic and external investors in this development, the involvement of criminal organizations has significant implications, including potential chilling effect on economic growth. Kerala is fast becoming a crime center of India. Every village and city in Kerala is now impacted by crime and violence.

Serious crime including car theft, gun smuggling, money laundering, counterfeit money distribution, drug trafficking, coercive debt collection, contract killing, prostitution and extortion in major cities like Kochi, Kozhikodu, Kottayam, Kannoor and Malappuram is a serious problem. It is reported that senior police officials aligned with criminal gangs are involved in the manufacture and street level distribution of pirated movies, VCD’s and DVD’s.

Intelligence agencies are alarmed of the presence of a large number of illegal Pakistani and Bangladeshi terrorists. These heavily armed and dangerous Jihadis are involved in bombing and organized criminal activities. These trained Jihadi terrorists are managed and directed by Pakistan ISI are involved in counterfeit currency distribution, explosion, bombing and sabotage, smuggling of arms and explosives. Government officials are less concerned with their illegal presence and criminal activities for fear of offending powerful Muslim politicians.

Kerala is also witnessing the penetration of mobsters into the legitimate business sector and the political arena. Many influential gangsters in Kerala are now Chief Executive Officers of major business conglomerates, and they are heavily in the business of gold, construction, telecommunication, movie, print media, stock trading and entertainment. Many criminals have successfully run for public office in order to protect themselves. They have groups and associations and followers; move closely with powerful bureaucrats, policemen, social leaders; sit in positions in local administration, and play a key role in elections. Unlike common garden variety criminals, organized crime networks are highly organized and sophisticated; as well as engage in high risk profitable crimes.

Now citizens of Kerala are faced with several fundamental options. First, are they truly prepared to fight the new organized crime and wipe out terrorism, and win it decisively no matter what sacrifices it requires or how long it takes? Second, are they prepared to uphold the cultural values that make the country great-the values that make the country worth fighting for, and living for? The greatest challenge is from the slow tolerance of organized crime, and intolerant, hostile terrorists groups, corruption, indifference and apathy. It is time for all concerned citizens of Kerala to fight against political parties supporting crime syndicates. These political parties are no longer parties of ideas. Instead they have become parties of invective. Their divisiveness, corruption and alliance with mafia gangs will lead Kerala into dark ages. It is imperative that right minded citizens to shed their collective naiveté and realize that they are in the fight for their lives. To lead a peaceful life, they might fight with strength and commitment. It will guarantee freedom and right to live without crime, violence and terrorist threats.

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